The sea knows no boundaries.Thus, all problems and possibilities are shared

The sea knows no boundaries.Thus, all problems and possibilities are shared

(On the photo Director, Professor Kerstin Johannesson, Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research at Centre for Environment and Sustainability, GMV, University of Gothenburg. Photographer: Thron Ullberg)

The sea is one of West Sweden’s core assets and entrepreneurship linked to the marine environment goes way back. Marine research at the University of Gothenburg involves research groups from many faculties. The research topic covers areas of extremely diverse orientation but has traditionally been established from an intradisciplinary perspective. Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research was initiated in 2011 to bridge traditional cluster formations and include a multidisciplinary dimension in an effort to strengthen the position of the university as one of the leading academic institutes within marine research in Europe.Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research works with cross-border activities aiming to encourage transdisciplinary collaborations and innovative research. We organize workshops where a small number of researchers in complementary disciplines meet, but also conferences with marine theme or focus on major research programs, such as the recently opened BONUS calls within the Joint Baltic Sea research and development programme 2012-1016.

Being a part of the Baltic Sea Region, we have to look for sustainable and more resource efficient ways of living as the region develops and grows. The Baltic Sea, for example, is home for a wide range of wildlife, flora and fauna, is a major transport route for shipping activities, but is also a source for recreation for many of the inhabitants in the Baltic Region. The co-existence of this multitude of activities challenges constantly triggers marine/maritime management and conservation discussions. However, it also offers many prospects, especially for a region that has proven to be a forerunner when it comes to problem solving. Based on interdisciplinary research results, collaborations must be continuous and in dialogue with stakeholders outside academia.

A few years ago, a survey was conducted in West Sweden by leading representatives from academia and the public and private sectors. Five clusters with strength and potential for the future were identified. These clusters were:

• Urban future

• The marine environment and the maritime sector

• Transport solutions

• Green chemistry and bio based products

• Life science

The Västra Götaland Region decided at the same time to evaluate the regional maritime strategy from 2008. The aim was to describe the current state of “The marine environment and the maritime sector”. The work was performed in collaboration with Chalmers and University of Gothenburg to provide an analysis of future growth areas. Maritime actors are structured in thematic clusters, including meeting points, to enhance the dynamic interaction between “knowledge producers”, businesses and public sector actors. The maritime clusters in West Sweden are characterized by both partnerships with competence centers around the Baltic and North Seas and collaborations on a larger European or global scale. Each cluster will be steered by representatives from these sectors and hosted by already established organisations, such as Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research.

Activities at the Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research stimulate innovation in the border areas between traditional disciplines, and aim to mobilize multidisciplinary efforts to address research problems that require comprehensive approaches. Our goal is to be the hub for researchers in identifying interdisciplinary and cross-border constellations for new projects.

Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research also organizes a transdisciplinary graduate school in marine environmental science. With funding from the University of Gothenburg, doctoral students and their supervisors work in interdisciplinary paired projects to support a sustainable management of marine resources. Currently fourteen graduate students are engaged in seven twin-projects.

More information at Gothenburg Centre for Marine Research

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